ABC: Internal poll shows swing to NT Labor (and related matters)
• The Northern Territory News reports bookies have been receiving late money on the Country Liberals. A spokesman for Luxbet said Labor had eased “dramatically” to $2.60, while Sportsbet had moved slightly over the week from $1.40 to $1.37 for the CLP and $2.80 to $2.85 for Labor – which was apparently entirely down to one $20,000 on Monday.
• Labor ads in the Northern Territory News spruiking individual candidates have been keen to note that “a vote for (candidate) will help keep Paul Henderson as Chief Minister”, while other advertising states that “a vote for the CLP is a vote for Tollner as Chief Minister”. I suspect the point in the latter case is not so much that Tollner is particularly unpopular, but that the CLP is divided. Another ad which catches me eye features shots of Campbell Newman, Barry O’Farrell and Ted Baillieu together with Terry Mills, and quotes from each offering pre-election messages of reassurance to public servants. There’s also an effort from Unions NT featuring the Grim Reaper and the message: “CLP admits 3000 jobs to be slashed. Save jobs. Vote Labor.” The CLP advertising, by contrast, doesn’t really cut through.
• Locally well connected Crikey blogger Bob Gosford of the Northern Myth believes Alison Anderson is no certainty in Namatjira, evidently rating highly the two Aboriginal rivals who are directing preferences to each other.
• The Australian’s editorial advocates a vote for the CLP, making particular effort to praise the party’s Aborginal candidates.
Only one more day until voters go the polls in the Northern Territory. Opinion polling has inevitably been thin on the ground during the campaign, the only published figures being those from the Northern Territory News poll of four Darwin seats detailed in this earlier post. Newspoll last entered the fray in the Northern Territory at the 2005 election, when it conducted a poll of Darwin voters which proved to be highly accurate. That wasn’t repeated in 2008, and evidently won’t be again this time.
We do however have this report from the ABC on Labor internal polling conducted by UMR Research, which knocks most other reporting of this kind into a cocked hat by providing supporting quotes from the pollster. The poll covered a small sample of 300 voters in the seats of Fannie Bay (held by Labor on a margin of 0.9%), Johnston (Labor 6.9%), Fong Lim (CLP 4.3%) and Sanderson (CLP 5.2%), and showed a collective result of 52-48 in favour of Labor and a swing to them of 2.4%. A spokesman for the firm suggests Labor’s primary vote was down, but the loss was being absorbed by minor parties and mostly coming back as preferences.
Three of the four seats covered were also dealt with in the Northern Territory News poll, the point of distinction being that UMR Research polled Dave Tollner’s seat of Fong Lim, whereas the News polled Brennan (held for the CLP by Peter Chandler on a margin of 2.7%). The combined result for the three seats common to both polls from the NT News suggested a 3% swing to the Country Liberal Party, so the UMR Research poll appears to be 5% better for Labor – remembering the respective margins of error involved are about 3.5% and 5%.
Before proceeding to my own overview of the situation, here’s a review of today’s action-packed Northern Territory News:
• Gerry Wood, the independent member for Nelson who will emerge as king-maker in the event of a status quo result, says his first preference in the event of a hung parliament would be a grand coalition including ministers from both sides. Failing that, he has declared a “clean slate” in any post-election negotiations.
• The CLP finally submitted its costings for evaluation by Treasury yesterday, and it only took three hours for the head of Treasury to announce that $124 million of commitments were “not achievable”.
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Categories: NT Politics